The Via Pontica cross-border marathon has linked Bulgaria and Romania

Press release of the Green Step Association

The Via Pontica cross-border marathon linked Bulgaria and Romania on Sunday, 4 September 2022. The fifth edition of the event took place on the Bulgarian and Romanian coasts of the Black Sea, after two years of postponement due to the Covid -19 pandemic. The marathon is organised by the “Green Step” club in Razgrad and aims to promote free movement, an active lifestyle and nature conservation. At the start were 138 runners, who were divided into four disciplines – classic marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km), cross running 13 km and children’s run 2 km.

Via Pontica 2022

The start of the marathon was given near the beach in Krapets. The participants ran northwards and passed the Durankulak lake and the Kosmos campsite, then through the Durankulak – Vama Veche checkpoint they reached the Romanian territory. In Romania, the route passed through the popular hippie village of Vama Veche and reached another village-station, Doi Mai, before heading back to Bulgaria. This year, the route had to be modified and was shortened by about two kilometres because of the danger of a landslide in Romania triggered by rainfall. The half marathon participants were transported by coach to Romania and started directly from Doi Mai on the route to Krapets.

The route of Via Pontica runs almost parallel to the sea shore and the participants were treated to stunning views. For this reason, the race has become a favourite of some participants who visit again. One of the Romanian volunteers, Andrei Condurache, said he first participated in a race at the first edition in 2016, and since then has gone on to run and win many veteran races, including five gold medals and a silver at the Balkan Games in Albania last year. This year he decided to volunteer as he is saving his forces for the Balkan Games in Thessaloniki in September 2022. 

Smiles were also raised by a participant who was almost an hour and a half late for the start of the marathon. However, the organisers allowed him to take the start and he managed to finish within the control time.

The winners in the individual categories were:

Men’s Marathon:

Tsvetko Mitov 03:10:01.

Stoyan Rusev 03:15:58.

Ivan Ivanov 03:16:58

Women’s Marathon:

1. Atanaska Atanasova 03:32:06

2. Vanya Dimitrova 03:44:28.

3. Victoria Saxanova 04:28:36

Men’s half marathon:

1. Viktor Bratkov 01:22:01

2. Rosen Todorov (Dzvera) 01:24:48.

3. Nedko Todorov 01:27:43

Women’s half marathon:

Maria Nikolova 01:29:10

Zornitsa Hristova 01:38:31

Vanya Koleva Barakova 01:48:11

Men’s 13km cross country: 

Rumen Stamatov 00:54:27

Yordan Angelov 00:58:58

Dilyan Georgiev 00:59:05

Women’s 13 km cross country: 

Janina Karaivanova 01:02:48

Anna Hristova 01:03:23

Nurjan Kadir 01:04:32

2 km boys:

Boris Genchev 09:09 min.

Daniel Dimitrov 09:50 min.

Ognian Dimitrov 10:05 min.

2 km girls

Sofia Papazova 13:07 min.

Presiana Teodor-Todorova 14:16 min

Monika Ilianova Momcheva 14:25 min

With the support of:

Ideal Standard, Inoxsys, Soletti Chrus-chrus, Leya, Yako sports magazine, ADM

We (Green Step Association) are grateful for the assistance of Shabla City Hall, General Directorate of Border Police, Romanian-Bulgarian team from Durankulak BCP – Vama Veche, Romanian Embassy in Bulgaria, Limanu City Hall, Constanta Traffic Police, Romanian Gendarmerie, Constanta Emergency Department, Vama Veke – 2 Mai Police Station, Constanta Roads and Bridges Department and Bucharest National Road Infrastructure Agency, the venue (Ezerets), as well as all the volunteers from Bulgaria, Romania and Belgium who made this race possible. 

Photos: Kremena Dimitrova and Plamen Stefanov

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